aerobics

aerobics

[ai-roh-biks]
aerobics, [Gr.,=with oxygen], system of endurance exercises that promote cardiovascular fitness by producing and sustaining an elevated heart rate for a prolonged period of time, thereby pumping an increased amount of oxygen-rich blood to the muscles being used. Such aerobic activities as running, swimming, and cycling can improve the body's use of oxygen, thereby allowing the heart to work less strenuously. Major Kenneth H. Cooper, a physician, pioneered the field with Aerobics (1968), which outlined fitness programs based on his study of 50,000 U.S. Air Force men and women. Since the 1980s, the term has indicated a specific type of physical fitness routine that involves a fast-paced series of exercises usually performed to the accompaniment of music. Variations include aerobic dance, jazz dance exercise, step aerobics, and low-impact aerobics. Aerobics has become one of the most popular forms of physical exercise in the United States, spawning growing memberships in exercise clubs and creating a large commercial market that includes celebrity exercise videotapes and aerobic gear.

See P. Malfetone and M. Mantell, The High Performance Heart (1991).

System of physical conditioning for increasing the efficiency of the body's intake of oxygen. Aerobic exercises (e.g., running, jogging, swimming, dancing) stimulate heart and lung activity. To produce a benefit, aerobic training must raise the heart rate (pulse) to the exerciser's target level for at least 20 minutes and include at least three sessions a week. The concept of aerobics was pioneered by Kenneth H. Cooper and popularized in his books Aerobics (1968) and The Aerobics Way (1977).

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Aerobics is a form of physical exercise that combines rhythmic aerobic exercise with stretching and strength training routines with the goal of improving all elements of fitness (flexibility, muscular strength, and cardio-vascular fitness). It is usually performed to music and may be practiced in a group setting led by an instructor, although it can be done solo and without musical accompaniment. With the goal of preventing illness and promoting physical fitness, practitioners perform various routines comprising a number of different dance-like exercises. Formal aerobics classes are divided into different levels of intensity and complexity. Aerobics classes may allow participants to select their level of participation according to their fitness level. Many gyms offer a wide variety of aerobic classes for participants to take. Each class is designed for a certain level of experience and taught by a certified instructor with a specialty area related to their particular class. The current Australian national champion is Kenji Fujihara.

Aerobic gymnastics

Aerobic gymnastics, also known as sport aerobics and competitive aerobics, is a type of competitive aerobics involving complicated choreography, rhythmic and acrobatic gymnastics with elements of aerobics. Performance is divided into categories by age, sex and groups (individual, mixed pairs and trios) and are judged on the following elements: dynamic and static strength, jumps and leaps, kicks, balance and flexibility. Three exercises are mandatory: four consecutive high leg kicks,patterns. A maximum of ten elements from following families are allowed: push-ups, supports and balances, kicks and splits, jumps and leaps. Elements of tumbling such as handsprings, handstands, back flips, and aerial somersaults are prohibited. Scoring is by judging of artistic quality, creativity, execution, and difficulty of routines. Sport aerobics has state, national, and international competitions, but is not an Olympic sport.

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